The Ghost of Mark Twain and the Ohio River receding, Portsmouth, March 17, 2011
A Confluence of Rivers
After a week of heavy rain,
The rivers rose like clogged toilets.
Before they settled down again,
They left a trail of forget-me-nots:
Styrofoam coolers, plastic bottles, polyester sweatpants,
And yes even old-fashioned chamber pots,
And a variety of balls from scrappy games—
Baseball, basketball, football, soccer—
And tongue-tied sneakers trumpeting the names
Of millionaires from a poor kid’s locker.
Rivers of Prozac, PCB’s, and tumors,
Rivers of my occluded muse,
Rivers of maxed consumers,
Rivers of Mountain Dews,
Rivers of buoys that lost their mooring,
Rivers of addicted girls a-whoring,
Rivers of a drowned rat at my feet:
Rivers of twain—they always meet.
A poor drowned rat on the banks of the Ohio, March 19, 2011